Roof shingles are roofing material that consists of individual overlapping elements placed one over the other. These roof elements are flat and rectangular in shape. This is laid in courses from the bottom edge to the top edge of the roof.

The important features and functions of roofing shingles for building roof construction are briefly explained below.

Features of Roof Shingles

The roofing shingles act as a waterproof barrier to protect the integrity of the whole building structure. The shingles are designed in such a way that it repels the water, snow and the ice. The installation of the roof shingles is performed in such a way that the seam or the joint is overlapped by the shingles laid up.

The shingles are laid in courses from bottom to top. The first course is called the starter course and the last course is called the ridge course or the ridge slates. The ridge is mainly covered using a ridge cap, piece or roll or any ridge vent material.

Roofing Shingles - Colour Varieties in Asphalt Shingle Type
Fig.1. Roofing Shingles – Colour Varieties in Asphalt Shingle Type

Laying Roofing Shingles

Before the construction of roof shingles, the type of shingles must be selected. The type of shingle affects the roof pitch and the construction method.

 Laying Roofing Shingles
Fig.2. Laying Roofing Shingles

The shingles can be installed on lath or on a roof deck with proper sheeting. All the shingles are laid from bottom to top. The starting is laid with a beginning course and offset is provided at the edges to avoid leaks.

Functions of Roofing Shingles

The three main functions of roofing shingles are in the areas of :

  1. Aesthetics
  2. Durability
  3. Utility

1. Aesthetics

The entire look or the style of the residential building is influenced by the type of roof shingles selected. There are several types of roof shingles like asphalt shingles, wooden shingles, slate shingles, etc. These shingles can be laid in different styles that suit the best for the building.

Also Read: Asphalt Shingles for Roofing

2. Durability

The durability of the roofing shingles employed for the building is merely dependent on its quality and type. There are cheap and local providers of shingles that do not assure longevity. This affects the total lifespan of the building over time because cheap roofing shingles make the connected parts to suffer and deteriorate faster.

3. Utility

The roof shingles offer a different level of energy efficiency that is favorable for the roof deck surface and the attic space. The color of the roof shingle chosen has a great role in controlling the heat. A light color shingle has the ability to reflect the heat away from the roof surface, thus making the interior space cool. Every roof shingle material posses different heat transfer properties that influence the amount of heat absorbed into the room.